The resort is less than two kilometres east of Hoi An's historic centre, positioned at the end of a long driveway that is lantern-lit by night. The resort fronts onto Bay Mau coconut forest and beyond that is Hoai River. The Central Vietnamese city of Hoi An was a key trading port for many centuries, up until the 1800s. These days it has a population of about 120,000 but it can sometimes feel more like a laid-back fishing village than a city.
The resort opened in early 2018. The seven-storey building is reminiscent of Vietnam's French Colonial period and, in keeping with that era, features a blend of Oriental and European interiors with a contemporary twist. There aren't any genuine antiques, valuable artworks or high-quality furniture but it's aesthetically striking, nonetheless.
Le Pavillon Hoi An Luxury Resort & Spa has 84 rooms and suites, including five family rooms and one wheelchair-accessible room. You either have a view of the pool, the city or the river and all but four rooms have a balcony. Jusa Spa has eight treatment rooms plus a sauna and hot tub. There's a small fitness centre, a lobby bar and the outdoor pool has a swim-up bar serving classic cocktails. The front desk is never unattended.
The bed in my super deluxe river balcony room is advertised as double but I swear it's a queen. The room is a decent size with a tiled floor, airconditioner, television, tea- and coffee-making facilities plus a minibar with plenty of leftover fridge space for market spoils. There's free Wi-Fi and bottled water replaced daily (though I prefer to travel with my own water filter). The bathroom has a freestanding bath and separate rain shower but not all rooms have both.
The beds are firm, which suits me but might not be for everyone. I appreciate having double doors to open and allow in fresh air. The spa offers many types of massage – Swedish, Thai, Vietnamese, Balinese, hot stone – plus facials, manicures and pedicures. The hotel and spa staff are lovely. You could easily spend a day or two not going anywhere else.
A buffet breakfast at Le Pavillon Cafe is included with the room cost and is quite the spread: a range of freshly made local dishes I go to town on; breads, cakes and pastries; seasonal fruit and juices; the main elements of an English-style cooked breakfast. The cafe also opens for lunch and dinner and the resort knows its audience well enough to have "Western Food" options following the "Asian Food" section of the menu, both with plenty of choices.
WORTH STEPPING OUT FOR
Find your way to Cho Hoi An, an undercover food market, and sit down to a second breakfast of white rose dumplings or the city's signature dish, cao lau, made using fat yellow noodles. Wander the surrounding marketplace then head through Old Town to see the Japanese covered-bridge and a proud showing of tailors. Choose a busy banh mi joint for lunch. Take a late-afternoon punt on Thu Bon River or cycle the few kilometres out to An Bang Beach. At night you can walk or bike the quiet riverside streets lit by traditionally-styled but electric coloured lanterns.
The resort offers guests free shuttle bus transfers to and from Old Town and An Bang Beach throughout the day.
Although more a hotel than a luxury resort, Le Pavillon is excellent value for money for travellers wanting a comfortable base while in Hoi An.
Rooms at Le Pavillon Hoi An Luxury Resort & Spa cost from $US62 a night (10 per cent discount for bookings more than 30 days in advance). See lepavillonhoian.com
New bicycles, free to borrow day or night.
Hot water and internet aren't always available all night.
Elspeth Callender was a guest of Webjet Exclusives.